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Diferences on Mary between EO and RC


We were talking of the Eastern tradition and the basis of it.


Here is what I claim:

  1. In the EO tradition, Mary is generally depicted with Her Son.
  2. In the RC tradition, this is not as generally true as it is in the EO tradition, since Mary is oftentimes depicted alone in the RC tradition.
    There are a few exceptions.


This is not Orthodox teaching. God does not override our freewill. The Holy Virgin had the same potential that we all have, yet she was the greatest of all mankind and all creation. God foreseeing this from all eternity graced her to become the Mother of God. No one else could take that place.

Yes, kind of. The Holy Virgin surpasses them because she contained He who is not containable. So since Christ is greater than the Heavens, The Holy Virgin is called “Wider than the Heavens”. The angels do not share this aspect and bow down to Her. The angels eagerly await the happening of God with man, because they were partly made for the purpose of man.


I think the western view is somewhat misrepresented on this point. When it comes to “guilt” there is a difference between the actual guilt (Latin: culpa) for committing an actual sin and the guilt (Latin: reatus) in the sense of inherited deprivation for original sin. It is the latter word that Trent uses on this point. A such, the Catechism, citing to Trent, says the following:

405 Although it is proper to each individual,295 original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam’s descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin - an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence". Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ’s grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle.

This is something that needs to be remitted for salvation. I don’t want to speak for pacloc, but he seems to be saying the same thing. The denial of this aspect of original sin by some modern EOs seems to be a novelty, as pacloc notes. It is explicit in older catechisms and synodal professions of faith. It was also never an issue at the reunion Councils, even when much more minor issues were.


I agree with you are saying but this one part I think would have to be explained a little more.

This would be the norm, but for those that die as infants or without baptism because of various situations as not being exposed to Christianity, we would not want to guess at their salvation. I have heard an Orthodox Priest that said he actually liked the RCC teaching of Limbo, because it was a good way to explain that it is unknown what happens to a lot of people. We continue to pray for them as if their salvation is possible. Do you know if the Western Church was known for saying that non baptized infants and children had to be in hell? I believe they did, but would like to make sure. I don’t think this teaching was ever popular in the East.


God is outside of time, and He knew in advance that Mary would say yes.

And being “full of grace” she pondered much and always chose the will of God, and because of that she suffered much.

She is our spiritual Mother, given to us at the foot of the cross.


That is the western view.

Backwards. To hold this in the east would be an innovation. This is why the East collectedly scratches its head on the Immaculate Conception, seeing the doctrine a unnecessary.

Limbo has never been a teaching of the RCC, although generations of nuns and sisters taught it to children.

The term “Limbo” comes from “Limbus”, Latin for Margin. Augustine’s note in the limbus/margin, asking basically “but what about unbaptized infants”, grew into this notion/oddity without ever being the teaching of the church.



Miguel25 . . .

Well also Jude was necessary for salvation, Pilato too. . . .

I agree with that Miguel25.

But Jude was not the channel through which ALL GRACES came to the world in the flesh by.

Nor was Pilate.

EVERY GRACE comes to us via the work of Jesus Christ.

HOW did God choose to come into creation from (or I should say, “WHO”)?

Who is the channel (AND the flesh) that God came from Heaven to earth by?

God bless.



Mediatrix is a dogma, co-redepmtrix is not or that’s my knowledge of it.


I get the two mixed up. :smile:


I don’t really fully get what the second one is supposed to mean lol. It is reither a really obvious statement or a really fishy one. :slight_smile:


There’s really two parts to this question. The first is what happens to those who die in original sin only with no actual sins (ie if they die in original sin and God does not cleanse them of it)? Of course, the only people this could really apply to would be infants. The second question is, is there a possibility that infants who are not baptized (and cannot seek it), that these are cleansed of original sin and then saved in some other way? (ie is it possible they do not die in original sin?).

For the first question, it is dogmatic (even to now) that those who actually die in original sin do not enter Heaven (they do not see God, partake of His nature, however you want to describe it). There seems to be a split in opinion among the Fathers ranging between this being a state of natural happiness (what we call Limbo) with the only “punishment” being exclusion from Heaven, to them suffering the actual tormenting punishments of Hell. This latter opinion mostly died out long ago (resurrected briefly by the Jansenists), but it has never been definitively condemned. The dogmatic definitions of the Church on this topic only say the punishments are different between original sin and actual sins.

For the second question, there has also been different opinions, with the more common teaching for a long time being it was unlikely these were cleansed (or at least, this was the prudent position to take, since God did not reveal a manner of salvation for them). Those that proposed otherwise, proposed possibilities ranging from a gratuitous gift of God to the vicarious faith of the parents or the Church providing the means. Nowadays, these latter opinions, especially that of the gratuitous gift, are the more common. But still, the Catechism, does not say definitively one way or the other, just that we can pray for (as we do in our rites) and hope for it.

I think both East and West agree that God has simply not revealed it to us which is why even we in the West cannot provide a definitive answer. And so there has been a range of approaches and proposed answers in both schools, moreso of course in the West. But, from what I can tell, while we have both gone through periods where we had a more pessimistic view, now we are in general agreement in having a bit more optimism overall.


I do not believe this to be true… can you reference to a Church teaching where the definition of Mediatrix is laid out? It appears to be a doctrine, but open to many different interpretations.


I am wrong. What’s the difference between a dogma and doctrine?


In general, doctrine is all Church teaching in matters of faith and morals. Dogma is more narrowly defined as that part of doctrine which has been divinely revealed and which the Church has formally defined and declared to be believed as revealed.

They aren’t exactly the same. Dogma is slightly more particular. It includes an emphasis on the fact that the teaching is incontrovertible, or not able to be denied or disputed. Doctrine, on the other hand, seems like it refers to teachings that are established and agreed upon, but not necessarily rigid and unchanging.

Relative to Mary as mediatrix, There does not appear to be a primary source in the Bible or revelation. Instead this idea relies on later developed beliefs of individuals and papal pronouncements.


The Chanel is Mary not doubt. But the chanel also could ne Israel according to Paul we got salvation because the Jews.

I think you get my point. And ofc Mary is the chanel. Not denying that.


Miguel25 (with parenthesis mine for context) . . .

Mary is the chanel (of ALL graces). Not denying that.

Sounds fine to me Miguel25.

The Blessed Virgin Mary DIRECTLY and INDIVIDUALLY is Mediatrix of ALL graces (and Mary is also Co-Redemptrix, and Advocate).

Mary’s flesh also used for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s flesh too (kind of a reversal of Adam being used for Eve’s flesh).

Completely unique.


In order to understand the position of the Orthodox Church on this teaching we must begin with understanding the Orthodox concept of original sin, as opposed to that which prevails in the Western Catholic Church.

The Western Catholic Church’s teaching of original sin, is based in part on the writings of Saint Augustine, which states that each human being at the moment of conception shares in the guilt of Adam’s sin of disobedience.

This was based on Saint Augustine’s slightly flawed Latin translation of Romans 5:12. Augustine did not read Greek with any great proficiency. Augustine read it as saying “so death spread to all men in whom (Adam) all men sinned”, rather than “so death spread to all men because all men sinned”, which is how the original Greek reads.

It is this teaching that led Western Catholic thinkers to create a place called “Limbo” (from the Latin word limbus, “border” or “hem”), meaning on the border of heaven. They said this is where the souls of unbaptised infants could find refuge, since though not guilty of any personal sin, they still had the guilt of original sin on their souls, and so could not enter heaven proper.

In the medieval Western Catholic Church, original sin was believed to be transmitted in a physical sense through conception. It thus became important to many that Mary be preserved from this taint. Hence the creation in the ninth century of the doctrine of the immaculate conception.

The Orthodox Church has kept alive the original understanding of the early Church as regards “original sin.” The early Church did not understand “original sin” as having anything to do with transmitted guilt but with transmitted mortality. Because Adam sinned, all humanity shares not in his guilt but in the same punishment.

We are tempted by sin and we become guilty of it through committing our own personal sins. We therefore suffer and we die. This is the orthodox understanding of original sin. It is not something that we are guilty of personally, but an action whose consequences have affected our lives as humans. As humans we sin, and our own guilt is because of our own personal sin.

In the light of this, the Western Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is redundant.

In Orthodox eyes, there is simply no original guilt for Mary to be made innocent of. Which is also why we have no Limbo for infants who die unbaptised, which was also at one time the usual teaching of the Western Catholic Church.

Taken at face value, the Western doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is seen by the Orthodox as separating the Mother of God from the rest of the human race. If true, this would have made it impossible for Christ to become truly man, because Mary would therefore not be subject to the same conditions of humanity as those for whom Christ had become incarnate in order to save. Mary is human, and through her, God became fully human as well.

Edited from an article in “The Word” Magazine. The Word is the official print publication of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.


That’s Christ, mate.


Well technically if you want to start at the top it is the Holy Trinity. Then you can work your way down to Christ incarnate, then to the Holy Virgin, then to Baptism, then to the Apostles and the Church, then to either your family or friends who brought you to the things mentioned. These are all necessary means of salvation, so without any of one of them, there is no salvation. I think I made it clear that I was not trying to put the Holy Virgin Mary in Christ’s place. Of course Christ is the God Man and is worthy of Worship where the Holy Virgin is a creation of God’s, but the greatest and the only means by which God has saved us.

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